E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


Pile o'Tags

Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

Spam Report

At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Is Akismet broken again?

In the past 24 hours I've seen a wave of comment spam resembling the late August outage. Mostly porn spam. Is it just me? I'm using the Akismet API from my homebrew code (negatives are simply rejected), but maybe this is a sign that I should start using the feedback part of their API to report false negatives.

This also gets me thinking about the need for an Akismet-like service that is run cooperatively, with multiple servers to avoid the single-point-of-failure problem. (And maybe more liberal licensing.) I think Akismet is cool; it's just impossible not to think about The Next Cool Thing once the Current Thing starts giving you trouble.

Update, 2006-09-18: Akismet does seem to be working again now. I still just trash any comment it thinks is spam (along with displaying a notice), but I added some logging to track the action better.

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

0 comments pending approval
Comment from Heliologue , 6 days later

It's not just you. I'm having the same problem. But it's apparently not so severe or widespread as the August outage, because I haven't seen very many people talking about it.

Comment from Paul , 6 days later

Well, I'm glad it's not just me -- thanks. It may not be an outage at all, but the beginning of serious gaming by the spammers.

It's foul stuff, too!

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